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Pop Rewind: Eartha Kitt “Santa Baby”

One of the most-covered modern Christmas tunes in memory, “Santa Baby” has been recorded by everyone from Maria Muldaur to Natalie Merchant to Taylor Swift to Miss Piggy—and even by a few guys (like Michael Buble and comedy duo Homer & Jethro). But not even Madonna in her prime could match the subtly delicious delivery of the one who sang it first—singer/actress/Broadway star Eartha Kitt.

Written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer, “Santa Baby” was originally recorded by Kitt in 1953, with Henri René and his Orchestra. The song basically speaks for itself: it’s is a tongue-in-cheek, seductive ode to materialism, a woman cooing her Christmas list of extravagant gifts to Santa Claus as if he were a sugar-daddy. It really is a bit politically incorrect, if you think about it, but it’s hard to listen to it without smiling. Especially for the guys.

The original Eartha Kitt version of “Santa Baby” was such a hit (and remains such a favorite) that despite all the covers of it since, the original version is still the one most played on the radio. And despite Eartha Kitt’s long and diverse career, it is also the one song for which she is best remembered.

I’ve included two versions of the song here: the original recording set to video, and a later live performance. Enjoy both!

About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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Posted in: Featured, Pop Music